I was fortunate enough to once again visit Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon this this year. I know what you’re thinking: The Auto Salon is in January… this post is from September, what gives?
To be honest, I just didn’t feel the urge to write for a while. But now I do, so here we are.
Unlike my last visit to see TAS, this time I brought along some friends. And while everyone on the trip was a car enthusiast, not everyone was as interested in the minutia that makes a great kaido racer, or what exhaust angle was optimal for a bozozoku build. For that reason I decided to be nice to them and not drag them along as I photographed every single thing that looked cool to me, and the result is that I don’t have nearly as many car shots as I did in 2018 and I decided to make one larger post covering all of our automotive shenanigans rather than a separate post for each.
Tokyo Auto Salon
The Tokyo Auto Salon was the main reason for the trip (but who really needs a reason really?) And while this was my second TAS and I generally knew what to expect, the show is still so very overwhelming.
It’s hard not to want to drive in Japan if you’re JDM obsessed. I’ve been able to get behind the wheel a few times now. We actually discovered Tokyo Drift while already in Tokyo, and I was able to secure a spot for that same day. Long time readers might recall that a while back I drove an R32 GTR around Hakone with Fun2Drive. While they offer amazing tours with a wide assortment of cars, accessing it is a pain. Tokyo Drift on the other hand is located in Sumida, so easilly accessible from anywhere in Tokyo. What they lack in assortment and exciting mountain roads, they made up for with accessibility and price… not to mention an urban driving experience that includes driving the famed Rainbow Bridge. If Fun2Drive is Initial D, Tokyo Drift is Wangan Midnight. Honestly I recommend both, but if time is an issue for you, Tokyo Drift is a fantastic service.
I’m actually glad I did delay making this post, as the first draft included the name and area of the parking garage where I took these. Apparently it’s notoriety as a hangout has caused issues, and police have started cracking down. In the spirit of that, I’m not going to name the garage. But you guys probably know what this is anyhow.
I’ve now been to Tokyo four times (which seems unreal to say out loud). And on every single trip, I was offered as assortment of cool street cars from kei cars with cosmetics, to cars that look like they are about to set a record on Tskuba. The sheer number and variety on display will make even the calmest car nerd lose their cool.
As always, my trip to Japan was better than I hoped it could be. It has been a pretty big bright spot on what has otherwise not been a great year for most folks. Hopefully the world will return to normal and everyone can enjoy Japanese car life once again!